As of 2022, US social commerce sales are expected to reach $45.74 billion. With almost 58.4% of the world’s population using social media, brands are continuously restrategizing their omnichannel marketing strategy to engage with their audience effectively.
It can be a lot, especially for a new merchant starting out. With so much information on what to post, what apps to use and thousands of get-quick-rich-schemes, researching social media tools can be off-putting.
That’s why we’re here to do it for you!
If you’re starting with social media or looking to optimize your content, this post will suggest various tools that will not only help your social media efforts but help you save time and money.
What is a Social Media Tool?
A social media tool can be many things, but its primary purpose should always be building authentic consumer relationships. With consumers spending so much time on social media and the growth of social commerce, brands have been allowed to build trust with potential customers, influencers, and others in an entirely new fashion.
No longer are the days when brands could get away with just advertising a product. Today, consumers are actively searching for brands that are making an effort to know their customer. Especially on social media.
And so brands are left with the difficult task of balancing that fine line between content and commerce. What content do you produce without seeming profit driven? How do you build a community that loves your product and can drive purchases organically? And lastly, how can you monetize your content in an engaging and unique way?
Why should I invest in a Social Media tool?
Unless you’re able to clone yourself tomorrow magically, it’s almost impossible to manage every social media channel successfully on your own. That’s why every merchant should invest in a social media tool for monitoring and engaging with their audience. With so many of your customers already using social media, you’re not going to want to miss a positive or negative mention.
Social media tools that allow for scheduling or auto-publishing can also save you a lot of time. Having the opportunity to schedule your content a few weeks or a month in advance can be a total game changer especially if you’re looking to grow your social media consistently.
Lastly, crunching social data can be almost impossible on your own. By relying on an app that’s data-driven it can not only tell you what’s working, but can also further optimize your social media performance, especially if your spending budget on social ads.
When should I invest in a Social Media tool?
While creative and social media ad tools can be invested in later on, we suggest selecting a monitoring and engaging tool right off the bat. This will allow you to save time by organizing your channels under one dashboard to effectively monitor and engage with your audience. Many of these monitoring tools offer scheduling and publishing tools, which can help you deliver a consistent flow of content to your audience.
While user-generated content might be something you want to explore once you have a larger budget or more time, we do suggest setting up some user-generated infrastructure so that you don’t have to worry about it later.
Types of Social Media Tools
While there are hundreds of social media tools out there, we’ll be focusing on options that help specifically with the following:
- Monitoring and engagement
- Influencer and social growth
- Creative and user-generated content
- On-site optimization
The Best Social Monitoring for Ecommerce
If you’re not monitoring or engaging with your audience, you’re missing out on building credibility and increasing your brand awareness and loyalty.
While you can always monitor and engage directly on your social media channels at the infancy of your business, this can become overwhelming and disorganized quickly. That’s why we suggest launching your store with some monitoring tool. Many of these tools also offer scheduling and publishing features.
Regarding social engagement, these tools can strengthen the relationship with your target audience and help you re-engage potential customers off-site.
Not only do these tools help save time, but they can also:
- Offer social media posting, scheduling, monitoring and engagement from one dashboard.
- Provide monitoring and engagement metrics to optimize social media.
- Integrate with Ecommerce platforms and leading social media channels.
Our Shortlist of Social Monitoring Tools for Ecommerce:
Multi-Purpose Social Media Tool for Small Merchants
If you’re a small store looking to build awareness and grow through your social media channels, Buffer offers a robust solution. With just their free plan alone, merchants can connect up to 3 social channels with 10 posts each. They can also get access to social media listening. The platform also offers team collaboration, engagement tools, and exportable reports.
- Plan and publish Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn content from one dashboard.
- Plan and prepare Tiktok Stories and Videos
- Social Media Engagement
- Social Media Listening
- Team Collaboration
- Analytics and Reporting
- Link in bio page
Aside from the free plan, merchants can get access to more advanced planning and publishing tools (like 2,000 scheduled posts per social channel), analytics, and engagement tools (such as machine learning-powered alerts based on sentiment) for $5 per month per social channel. The more advanced plans ($10 per month per social channel and agency plan at $100/month) offer advanced collaboration tools, custom reports, and unlimited users.
Multi-Purpose Social Media Tool for Enterprise Businesses
While Buffer is the perfect tool for brands just starting out and looking to build brand awareness, Hootsuite offers a much more robust platform for enterprise businesses who require support for additional social accounts and more users. Similarly to Buffer, Hootsuite offers planning and publishing tools, as well as a stream dashboard (to view what’s going on at a glance), social advertising management, and robust analytics.
- Create, schedule, manage and monitor posts across Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
- Social Inboxes and Mentions
- Streams Dashboard
- Social Listening based on keywords and follow hashtags
- Social Advertising Management
- Team Collaboration
- Analytics and Reporting
While Hootsuite’s offers 10 social accounts, unlimited posts (to all social channels), the stream dashboard and social inbox and mentions at its $49 per month plan, it only allows for one user. If your business requires 3+ users or requires access to additional social accounts, you might want to consider their Team plan at $129 per month. For enterprise businesses who have a large social media department and require further support, the Business plan offers 5 users with 35 social accounts at $739/month. This plan also offers extended functionality with premium apps like Zendesk, Slack, Basecamp, etc.
Actionable Social Media Analytics
Iconosquare uses the power of social media analytics to schedule, manage, and monitor your Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter channels. By focusing on data, brands are able to learn how their content impacts engagement and can develop new strategies for growth.
- Create, schedule, manage and monitor posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Community analytics (demographic data of followers) and competitor tracking.
- Tags and mentions analytics
- Analytics and Reporting for all social media channels including LinkedIn and Tiktok
- Social Media Engagement
- Social Listening based on custom feed and hashtag tracking
- Monitor competitor profiles
- Team collaboration
Iconosquare’s smallest plan at $49 per month allows for 3 social profiles, 2 team members and access to everything aside from promoted posts analytics, post approval & collaboration, tags & mentions and more advanced reporting. Its more advanced plan at $79 per month allows for 5 social profiles and unlimited team members. The app also offers an enterprise plan with a Custom Success Program. Merchants must contact Iconosquare for pricing.
Visual Social Media Tool for Small Merchants
If you are more visual and looking to build your Instagram and Pinterest channels, you need Later. Built for sharing photos, videos, and stories, it’s a user-friendly platform that offers a multitude of features. The platform also provides user-generated content curation and creation.
- Create, schedule, manage and monitor posts across Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Tiktok.
- Visual Instagram and Pinterest planner
- Chrome Extension for collection content from influencers and customers
- Link in bio for linked social posts
- Ecommerce integration with Shopify
- Team collaboration
- Analytics and Reporting
Made for small businesses, Later offers a free plan with 10 posts per month per social platform, unlimited media storage, photo and video scheduling and its visual Instagram planner. It also only allows for one user. To truly benefit from Later’s features we suggest the Growth plan at $40 per month that allows for 150 posts per month, 3 accounts on each social channel and 3 users. This plan also integrates with Shopify and allows for linked social posts, as well as more advanced analytics, user-generated content, and team collaboration.
The Best Social Engagement Tools for Ecommerce
Having a consistent social media presence is a must for every brand, but how can you monetize it without seeming profit driven? While social commerce features are offered within apps like Facebook and Instagram, how can you re-engage visitors on social media who have already visited your store?
While there are many apps that can help with re-engaging and increasing conversions, we’ve selected those that offer:
- Flows such as abandoned cart messages through Messenger, IG or SMS.
- Integration with leading Ecommerce tools and email marketing platforms.
Automation is also important for these apps, as it can become incredibly difficult to reach out and engage with every visitor that has ever landed on your site.
Our Shortlist of Social Engagement Tools for Ecommerce:
Zero-party Data Marketing Platform
Octane integrates exclusively with Shopify and Shopify Plus to help improve engagement, retention and conversions. Alongside their product quiz feature, they also provide a robust Facebook Messenger tool and SMS to deliver personalized messages like abandoned cart messages, order confirmations, winback campaigns and more.
- Messenger & SMS
- Product Quizzes
- AI/chatbot responses
- Ad integrations
- Website pop-ups
- Integration with Klaviyo, Gorgias, Recharge, and Yotpo.
Starts at $9 per month with a 14-day free trial. Prices go up based on features and the number of active users. If you’re making over $100k per year, you may want to upgrade to the pro plan for additional functionality including SMS and custom flows.
First Messenger Marketing Tool
Recart automates Facebook Messenger and SMS messages to convert more visitors. From sending abandoned cart reminders, smart pop-ups that collect Messenger subscribers, custom flows and automations, it can help brands of all sizes drive traffic and drastically increase engagement and conversions.
- Inbuilt Quiz Tool
- Integrate with Click to Messenger and Sponsor Message Campaigns
- Custom Flows and Automations
- Smart Pop-up Tool for Collecting Messenger Subscribers on Site
- Template Library
- Dynamic Discount Codes
- Integration with Shopify, Klaviyo, Gorgias, SMSBump, Privy, JustUno and many more.
Pricing is based on the tracked revenue generated by the tool. This starts at $29 per month for $1000 in tracked sales and goes up from there. For more enterprise businesses, it’s a fixed fee structure starting at $499.
Instagram DM Automation Platform
Although ManyChat was one of the first Messenger marketing tools, it has only recently started moving into Ecommerce. However, unlike other Messenger tools, ManyChat connects with Instagram to automate direct messages for better customer support. It also offers an exceptional flow builder that makes set up and segmentation easy.
- Messenger & SMS
- Instagram DM
- Abandoned Cart
- Coupons & Promotions
- Book Appointments and Send Reminders
- Click to Messenger Ads
- Integrates with Shopify, Zapier, Stripe, Paypal and more.
A limited free option with paid plans starting at $10/month and custom pricing for larger merchants. A great option if you want a tool that grows with you.
For other messenger marketing tools, check out: The Best Messenger Marketing Tools for Ecommerce.
The Best Social Growth Tools for Ecommerce
While organizing your content and engaging with your audience might help build your social media presence and re-engage visitors, how do you continue to grow past your own content?
The truth is that many large Ecommerce brands have built their following (and business) through collaborations, specifically through influencer marketing. In fact, according to Meltwater, 64% of marketers say they use influencer marketing or plan to do so in 2022.
And for a good reason, today’s consumers are heavily influenced by reviews and recommendations from those they follow online, as well as trusted friends, family members and peers. Not only is the opportunity to compare different products vital, but consumers expect a level of authenticity and transparency from the brands they purchase from. This makes the challenge of finding trusted influencers to partner with overwhelming and sometimes difficult. Finding the proper influencer or collaboration can directly influence sales and brand loyalty.
While there are several influencer and collaboration platforms, we’ve decided to focus on those that offer:
- Wide influencer/brand networks
- Integration with Ecommerce and email marketing platforms
- Creation of user-generated content
- Increase brand awareness and loyalty
Our Shortlist of Influencer and Social Growth Tools for Ecommerce:
Creator Management Platform Built for Ecommerce
GRIN is an influencer marketing platform that allows brands to work with creators who are aligned with their brands. Unlike other apps or platforms that might use a middleman to build or manage a relationship with an influencer, GRIN allows for direct communication in order to build a more authentic, brand-boosting relationship. Aside from influencer marketing, GRIN also provides affiliate marketing, customer advocacy, branded content, athlete marketing, and direct integration with Ecommerce platforms.
- Offers a 38 million and over influencer network
- Integration with Gmail, Slack, and Outlook to manage all communication with influencers.
- Email and outreach templates with the ability to track opens, clicks, and replies.
- Full media content rights to freely share on all social channels or site
- Full integration with Shopify, Magento, Salesforce, WooCommerce and Paypal for tracking product gifting
- Creator payment tracker with Paypal integration that are tax compliant
- Content library for user generated content
- Reports & Analytics
GRIN is a platform better suited for enterprise businesses who are looking to create authentic relationships with brand creators. Request a demo for pricing.
Automated Micro-Influencer CRM
Unlike GRIN, Gatsby is an influencer management app that allows brands to organize their current influencer marketing campaigns. From tracking tags in Instagram stories to automating all communication in Klaviyo campaigns, Gatsby allows brands to save time while effectively connecting with their target audience.
- Track tags in Instagram stories to not miss updates
- Read and reply to influencer DMs directly within Gatsby
- Segment customers by influencer and track their content
- Save user-generated content to share on social media channels
- Generate and assign Shopify coupons codes to all influential customers or ambassadors
- Track revenue generated from micro-influencers
- Integration with Klaviyo, Gorgias, and Yotpo
- Reports & Analytics
Gatsby is a platform better suited for businesses generating between $1million and 1billion+ in revenue. Their Lite program at $270 per month offers 300 tracked profiles, integration with one IG business account, Klaviyo flow templates, and the ability to generated codes and track revenue. For businesses looking to add social rewards and loyalty programs, the platform offers a lite plus plan for $500 per month while the Business account at $1,350 per month offers a dedicated social manager.
Collaborative Commerce App for Shopify
Carro allows for partnerships between top Shopify brands to share customers, facilitate co-marketing opportunities, and encourage collective growth. The platform also allows merchants to be matched with influencers who can sell their products directly through their stores and feeds.
- World’s largest network of top curated brands, products, and influencers.
- Integration with Shopify for seamless, no effort affiliate marketing
- Provides dropshipping partnership without the hassle
- Free Influencer Partnership Service
- Integration with Shopify, Instagram, Facebook, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Stripe and more
- Reports & Analytics
It’s free to list your products as a Carro supplier. Merchants only pay a transaction fee when a customer purchases from a partner store. The platform also provides a free influencer partnership service that allows merchants to find influencers who are engaging with your brand as customers or subscribers. For merchants looking to start cross-store selling, their starter plan begins at $50 per month and offers basic reporting. The growth plan at $250 per month offers a brand-pairing specialist along with flexible fulfillment.
The Best Creative Advertising Social Tools for Ecommerce
Having a library of user-generated or unique content is every brand’s dream, but how can it be used to drive sales? While posting organically to social media can help increase your brand presence, there are several tools that can repurpose this content into optimized ads or on-site experiences.
Again, while there are so many apps that help with creative, but we decided to specifically focus on:
- Tools that can help create effective social media campaigns from user-generated content or owned content
- Outputs for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok and more.
Our Shortlist of Creative Advertising Tools for Ecommerce:
AI Powered Creative Ad Generator
Pencil is a creative ad generator that uses AI algorithms to create static and video ads that are predicted to perform well. Merchants simply have to upload a library of images or video, choose an outcome topic or offer and which products they’d like to promote. Within minutes, Pencil generates a batch of new ads that can be exported into multiple social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube, Pinterest, Snap, and Amazon.
- Create a batch of static or videos ads in 2-3 minutes
- Export AI generated ads to social media channels
- Insights & Predictions
- Unlimited users
Pencil works best for brands that are already spending up to $5k per month on ads and have enough data in their ad accounts to determine what’s working and what isn’t. They offer a self-serve platform at $2,400 per year or the option of a dedicated Creative Assistant for $7,200 per year.
Data-Driven Creative Optimization
Savvy is built for merchants of all sizes looking to maintain and optimize their current ad creative. By analyzing the best creative and combining clip iterations to create new variations, merchants are able to effectively increase their return on ad spend and decrease their cost per purchase. Savvy also provides a video generator tool that allows merchants to create highly scalable, attention grabbing video ads.
- Leverages existing assets to create a broad range of video ads to convert all types of audiences.
- Offers machine learning and automation to reduce time spent on video ad creation
- Rapid test-and-learn cycles to evolve and analyze creative over time
- Insights & Predictions
Savvy works best for merchants who are already spending a decent amount on monthly ad spend, but want to achieve a higher ROAS. Request a demo for pricing.
Dynamic Product Ad Optimization
Confect is a tool for optimizing dynamic product ads with best practice designs. These ads not only defeat ad fatigue, but allow merchants to automate designs based on attributes from their catalog feed.
- Background-removal of products and full graphic editor
- Synchronizes with campaigns (like promotions) to deliver unique dynamic product ads with urgency.
- Tailors each design based on the merchant’s catalog feed.
- Ads tailored for Facebook, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Criteo, Affiliate, and more.
This app is best for merchants who have large catalogs and are running dynamic ads across Facebook, Google, Instagram and more. Confect offers a 7 day free trial. Pricing is calculated based on the amount of products and allows for unlimited feeds for one country. It’s starting price for 2,000 products is $199 per month.
The Best User-Generated Content (UGC) Tools for Ecommerce
While user-generated content can be valuable for increasing brand awareness and building your social media presence, it can also be used to build credibility and transparency on your site. Displaying reviews, as well as photos or videos that show your customers using your products can help with on-site conversion, while increasing retention.
While there are several user-generated apps out there, we recommend opting for ones that allow for:
- Text, photo and video review collection
- Media or shoppable galleries that can be featured on the homepage, product page, or cart.
- Integration with leading Ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, etc.
- Integration with leading email marketing platforms like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, etc.
- Integration with Google Shopping, Facebook Ads
Our Shortlist of User-Generated Content Tools:
Full Suite Acquisition and Retention Platform
Originally created as a reviews and ratings app, Stamped has grown into a full suite of acquisition and retention tools including user-generated content. Through visual reviews, merchants can encourage customers to submit photo or video reviews that can be showcased on shoppable galleries. This user-generated content can then be used to produce social ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Collect photo and video reviews from customers
- Display user-generated content in shoppable galleries on your homepage, product pages, and checkout page.
- Turn user-generated content into dynamic retargeting ads or static photo/video ads.
- Use user-generated content on Google Shopping or in email campaigns.
- Ecommerce integration with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Wix, and much more.
- Integration with Klaviyo, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Gorgias, Loyalty Lion, Searchanise and more.
- Advanced Reporting
To use Stamped’s shoppable galleries and to create Facebook/Instagram ads with review content, merchants will need to opt for their Professional plan at $249 per month.
Shopify-Centric Review Platform
Although known for their integration with Shopify and Klaviyo, Okendo also provides a full suite of features for collecting user-generated content. The app allows for merchants to collect reviews and user-generated content with automated review requests via email or SMS to showcase throughout their site. Okendo also has a full integration with Foursixty to combine user-generated content with reviews while managing all influencer marketing directly from Okendo.
- Review and user-generated content
- Okendo and Klaviyo integration to deliver social proof and deliver more advanced flows
- Multi-channel marketing on Google, Email, Social, and Bazaarvoice
- Media galleries and integration with Foursixty to display shoppable Instagram galleries
- Advanced Reporting
14-day free trial. For merchants looking to collect and display user-generated content, Okendo offers a $29 per month plan for up to 500 orders per month. Their most popular plan Power at $299 per month with up to 5,000 orders per month offers Klaviyo integration and media galleries.
For other review and user-generated content, check out our blog post: The Best Review Tools for Ecommerce.
Shopify-Centric Reviews and Referral App
Originally a leader in photo reviews, Loox has grown to offer Shopify merchants visual-centric reviews and referrals. With Loox, merchants can create galleries of video and photo reviews from customers using their products. These galleries can be displayed on the homepage, product pages, cart, and more. These reviews can also be shared on Google Shopping and Facebook ads.
- Collect video and photo reviews from customers across email, web push notifications, and Facebook messenger.
- Display reviews throughout the site, as well as in popups or on a sidebar.
- Display reviews on Google Shopping or Facebook Ads
- Offer on-site, post-purchase or post-review referrals
- Integration with Shopify, Google, Facebook, Klaviyo, Loyalty Lion, Rise.ai, etc.
- Advanced Reporting
14-day free trial. For merchants looking only for photo reviews, Loox offers a $9.99 per month Beginner plan. For video reviews, full customization, and Google Shopping, merchants will want to look at the Growth plan that starts at $34.99.
Powerful Hashtag Analytics Platform
Flick Social AI is a valuable tool for ecommerce businesses looking to optimize their UGC hashtag strategies. The platform helps you conduct comprehensive hashtag research by providing insights into the popularity, competition, and relevance of the hashtags. The platform also offers detailed analytics and metrics on hashtag performance, helping ecommerce businesses improve discoverability and reach on social media platforms.
- Comprehensive hashtag research
- Performance analytics and metrics
- Competitor analysis
- AI-powered hashtag recommendations
- Trend identification and tracking
- Data visualization with interactive charts and graphs
- Post scheduling
7-day free trial. For beginners, Flick Social AI offers the Solo plan at £14/mo ($18 approx.) for 4 social profiles and 30 posts/social/mo. The Pro plan at £30/mo ($38 approx.) lets you link 8 social profiles and unlimited posts. For 20 or more social profiles, you must upgrade to the Agency plan at £68/mo ($85 approx.).
* Exchange rate: 1 GBP = 1.24654 USD
The Best On-Site Social Tools for Ecommerce
While user-generated content tools can help increase brand loyalty and conversion on-site, there are many new apps that are bringing the social experience to stores.
These on-site social tools are becoming increasingly popular for brands that are excelling in social commerce, as users get to experience a unique and oftentimes personalized experience both on and off site.
Our Shortlist of On-Site Social Tools for Ecommerce:
Shoppable Instagram and UGC Platform
Foursixty has been a leader in shoppable Instagram technology for quite some time. While it first offered on-site shoppable Instagram galleries, it has expanded into influencer discovery and management. It’s flexible integration and simplicity makes it a winner among many merchants.
- On-site shoppable homepage, product page, collection page Instagram galleries
- User-generated content aggregation engine to collect user-generated content
- Automated rights management system to request and secure the rights of user-generated content
- Shoppable ambassador galleries for influencer marketing
- Shoppable Instagram galleries for email (Klaviyo, Mailchimp, etc).
- Instagram auto-publishing and scheduling
- Influencer discovery and management
- Insights & Analytics
- Integration with Shopify, Magento, Wordpress, WooComerce, and more.
Foursixty offers a 21-day free trial. Its Core package is $50 per month and offers shoppable Instagram galleries, up to 50 auto-published posts, advanced Instagram analytics, and content moderation. For brands looking to use user-generated content, influencer discovery/management and basic email galleries, you’re looking at $300 per month on the Complete plan. For enhanced email galleries, ambassador shops and advanced influencer discovery/management, see the Complete Plus plan at $500 per month.
Mobile Storytelling Ecommerce App
For brands looking to improve their mobile shopping experience, Poloriz automatically transforms products into mobile-first, immersive stories that capture shoppers’ attention. These stories are crafted based on user engagement, providing a unique and personalized experience for each shopper.
- Stories Discovery: Automatically creates a social-like UX for discovering products faster and easier
- Stories Recommendations: Automatically creates a personalized, full-screen cross-selling experience based on customer data.
- Export or import stories to social media to enrich brand content
- Integration with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento, Wix, and much more.
- Data-driven insights
Request a demo for pricing.
Facebook Referral Marketing Tool
This tool increases organic exposure by encouraging customers to advertise your brand. By adding the “Share It” button on the product page, users are offered a discount code in exchange for recommending your brand to their social media followers.
- Product page button that offers user a discount for promoting service or product
- Customer post includes a product image, website URL, and an embedded link back to site.
- Integration with Shopify and WooCommerce
14-day free trial. Pricing is based on the amount of referrals per month. So for example, up to 50 posts and 16,900 views per month is $37 per month. For merchants with larger traffic, the app offers up to 200 posts and 67,600 views per month for $97 per month.
While we understand that this is certainly a long list of social tools and that some might not be appropriate for certain businesses, we suggest starting with at least one publishing and monitoring tool, as well as a user-generated content tool such as a review app. Not only will this help save you time by scheduling content in advance, but it will allow you to be consistent with your audience and increase engagement.
Having a user-generated content tool on your site also helps give your site more credibility which can in turn, help with conversion.
If you’re already producing consistent and engaging content, start thinking about how you can repurpose it to drive new traffic and increase conversions on your site. Just remember to keep it honest, interesting, and fun.